USAFL Amendments to the Laws of Australian Football

The purpose of the USAFL Coaching Development & Rules Committee is to look at all rules/laws of our game during the off-season to ensure that the USAFL is keeping up with current AFL Laws and applying appropriate amendments & adjustments to those Laws that serve as practical interpretations for USAFL games.  They have also established a set of unique USAFL rules/laws to better serve the development of the game here in the USA.  The following is the committee’s findings and recommendations as approved by the USAFL Executive Board for the 2011 season.

Download the 2015 USAFL Laws

Download the 2015 AFL Laws

Holding the Ball & Prior Opportunity

HoldingtheBallandPriorOpportunity

2011 AFL Laws – Amendments for the USAFL

Law 5.2 Variation of Number

  • Less than 18 players will be allowed for USAFL games, should both Captains agree and inform umpires.
  • Player numbers for each division will be slightly different per the below guidelines:

Division I
18 players a-side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)

Division II
18 players a-side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)

Divisions III
16 players a-side (Captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified. No maximum number of players for Division 3)

Division IV
14 players a-side (Captains of each team must be in agreement on the number of players and the umpires must be notified. Any disagreements will be resolved by the Tournament Committee. No maximum number of players for Division IV)

Women’s Division
12 players a-side (Captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)

Law 10.5 Stopping and Recommencing Time

  • The USAFL will continue the no “time on” policy.
  • USAFL Clubs don’t have the capacity to add time on for stoppages.
  • Games will continue to be played without “time on”. At nationals, should there be a serious injury (i.e. a stretched or ambulance needs to come onto the field, time will be stopped, under the guidance of the central field umpire.)

Law 12.1.5 Goal Umpire to Judge Goal or Behind

  • Due to the lack of qualified goal umpires and the variation in ability of “fill in” goal umpires it should be the controlling Field Umpire that makes the final decision on scores.

Law 13.3 Kicking Into Play After A Goal Umpire Signal

  • Due to the lack of qualified goal umpires and the variation in ability of “fill in” goal umpires the USAFL will not adopt the immediate kick in rule once a behind has been signaled by the Goal Umpire.
  • The rule where players cannot kick in until the flags are waved will remain in effect.

Law 15.4.5 (k) & (l) Prohibited Contact and Payment of Free Kick

  • The particular law in question is in regard to holding or throwing a player after that player has disposed of the ball.
  • The USAFL agrees to adopt the new wording of this law.

Law 15.7 Free Kicks – Deliberate Rushed Behind

  • The USAFL will not implement the deliberate rushed behind law in 2011.

Law 20 Order Off Law

  • If a player receives a Yellow card he or she is sent off for 15 minutes and can be replaced on the field.
  • If a player receives a Red card he or she is sent off for the remainder of that game and must leave the team area. The player may be replaced on the field, but only after 15 minutes of play.
  • A Red carded player will be subjected to an automatic tribunal appearance after the game. If a tribunal is not available prior to the next game, that player will be allowed to play in that subsequent game.
  • If a coach, runner, team official or supporter is Red carded, they must leave the team area for the remainder of the game.

USAFL General and National Tournament Rules and Procedures

The USAFL Rules Committee look at all rules and laws of our game during the off-season to ensure we are keeping up with current AFL Laws and applying appropriate amendments & adjustments to those Laws that serve as practical interpretations for USAFL games.

We have established a set of our own unique USAFL rules/laws to better serve the development of the game here in the USA. If you have any questions please contact the USAFL Operations Manager. Umpires with questions should contact the USAFL National Umpire Director.

Game Format

  • Games will be played in 2 x 20 minute halves with a 7-minute half time break.
  • USAFL Executive board decisions are final and will endeavor at all times to take into account all clubs needs and wants.
  • All teams must attend the team meetings to get the coach’s packs and understand the FIRM tribunal proceedings for this year.
  • If any club feels they have information about opposing clubs using ineligible players at the Nationals, the Tournament Committee must be notified BEFORE the first games are played, through the appropriate channels.

Player Eligibility for a Team

  • Once you play your first organized inter-city game with a sanctioned USAFL club that is the only club you are deemed to be eligible to play for at Nationals.
  • A player can play a Metro or intra-club game and this does not bind you to that club for Nationals.
  • The rule only applies to inter-city games.
  • Exemptions can still be applied for via the player registration system (http://usafl.com/registration).

Three Point Qualification

  • In order to be eligible to play for their club at Nationals all male players are required to earn a minimum of 3 points during the course of the season.
  • Teams must submit qualification lists to the USAFL and they must include dates for each point earned.
  • Players will earn one point for USAFL sanctioned inter-city games.
  • Players will earn one half of a point for metro or tournament style (2 x 20mins) games.
  • In an attempt to prevent players accruing all their points in one weekend players may only accrue a maximum of one point per one calendar week, defined as Monday – Sunday.

The 50/50 Participation Rule

  • Clubs are encouraged to use the 50/50 rule in all games during the year but it is not mandatory. Clubs should establish if the rule is to be used prior to playing any game.
  • The 50/50 participation rule is now changed from “cannot play more than 9 Australians on the field” to “cannot play more than 9 NON-NATIONALS on the field.”
  • A “Non-National” player for a USAFL team is anyone that is not deemed an American.
  • A “Non-National” for a Canadian team is anyone that is not deemed a Canadian.
  • Nationality ruling to be determined by country of birth on passport.
  • If you play an Australian, an Irishmen, or a New Zealander for example….all these nationalities are all deemed “Non-Nationals” and you cannot play more than 9 of these players on the field at any one time.
  • Therefore Clubs will need to have a minimum of “9 Nationals” on the field at all times.
  • If a player cannot prove “National Status” that player will be deemed a “Non-National.” If you are an American or a Canadian, the onus will be on you to prove that status. If you cannot prove that status you will be deemed a “Non-National”
  • Exemptions can still be applied for via the player registration system (http://usafl.com/registration).

Keeping “time on”

  • USAFL Clubs don’t have the capacity to add time on for stoppages.
  • Games will continue to be played without “time on”. At nationals, should there be a serious injury (i.e. a stretched or ambulance needs to come onto the field, time will be stopped, under the guidance of the central field umpire.

Send Off Rule

  • If a player receives a Yellow card he or she is sent off for 15 minutes and can be replaced on the field.
  • If a player receives a Red card he or she is sent off for remainder of that game and cannot return to the field that day. The player will also be subjected to an automatic tribunal appearance. The player may be replaced on the field, but only after 15 minutes of play.

Team Rankings at Nationals

Top ranked teams from each pool in a Division will advance to that Division’s Championship game. Pool rankings will be based upon:

  • Total Championship points
  • Percentage (points scored/points allowed)
  • Points scored
  • Goals scored
  • Head to Head
  • Toss of coin